Review

Courtis / Kiritchenko / Moglass - s/t

Foxy Digitalis

I have no idea why it took five different record labels to put this disc into my grubby paws, but I'm certainly glad it got here. This amazing three-way split is pure teamwork; sounds sourced from one amazing artist become fodder for the creative manipulation of another equally brilliant collaborator. Ukrainians Andrey Kiritchenko and The Moglass and Argentinean Anla Courtis take turns weaving masterful tapestries from threads of sound provided by the other participants. Kiritchenko is widely regarded as a pioneer of experimental music in Eastern Europe and is the head of the adventurous Nexsound label. Courtis is probably best known as a founder of the inimitable Reynols, but his excellent solo works have garnered him recent appreciation. The Moglass are a trio who extract dreamy soundscapes from the outer reaches of the atmosphere. Each of these relatively well-known artists lends their distinct flavour to the compositions, and the resulting document resembles a cohesive whole rather than the work of three disparate entities.

Kiritchenko begins by combining the sounds provided by Anla Courtis with his own bandura, guitar and field recordings. These three tracks showcase Kiritchenko's skill in combining sources generated both organically and electronically into complex textural works. Dense drone build-ups melt into static-filled clouds of electronic dissonance; coruscating guitar fragments pierce rumbling waves of sound. Urgency is implied, as if catastrophe is imminent.

When The Moglass mix their unique style with that of Courtis, the results are both soothing and unnerving. Each of their three tracks travels a unique path through outer space. What starts out as an alien lullabye soon devolves into shredded strings and guttural scat vocalizing (possibly in Ukrainian). The third, and strongest, track could be the perfect soundtrack for an astral voyage.

Courtis closes out the disc by dicing up the sounds provided by the other two participants. The first three tracks find him rubbing elbows with The Moglass, creating the perfect accompaniment for prenatal amniotic stasis. Courtis fabricates crystalline structures from the malleable material provided, resulting in a construction that collapses in upon itself only to be rebuilt in an entirely different way. All rhetoric aside, it's a heady yet engaging listen. His treatment of Kiritchenko's work is slightly more organic, as the source material is mainly acoustic. A thousand wind-up toys engage each other in battle before being drowned out by a sea of bells on varispeed. You can almost see the wizard Courtis smiling gleefully over a pile of spliced tape (or maybe a computer full of samples).

This rather seamless collection of tracks is definitely the work of people who are at the top of their game. Creating sound art that can hold a listener's attention is no easy feat, and this recording definitely succeeds at doing just that. I'm definitely going to search out more work from all three of these amazing contributors, and I know there's a lot out there for me to find! 9/10



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